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Phenylpropanoid composition in fig (Ficus carica L.) leaves


The leaves of fig (Ficus carica L.) have been used for traditional and Chinese medicine. We determined the composition of phenylpropanoids (polyphenols and furanocoumarins) as a functional agent in the leaves of 37 cultivars of fig. The most abundant polyphenol was caffeoylmalic acid (12.0–26.6 mg/g dry weight), followed by rutin (4.7–14.6 mg/g dry weight) and isoschaftoside (2.5–6.4 mg/g dry weight). Psoralen (3.8–23.0 mg/g dry weight) was dominant in the furanocoumarins. In molar amounts, psoralic acid glucoside (PAG), a precursor of psoralen, was equivalent to psoralen. Furanocoumarins and PAG were not detected in the leaves of only one cultivar, Grise de Tarascon. Fig leaves are potentially an excellent source of polyphenols such as caffeoylmalic acid and rutin. From the result of cluster analysis, some cultivars that contained large amount of polyphenols, and a small amount (e.g., Grise de Saint Jean) or no (Grise de Tarascon) furanocoumarins, were found. These cultivars are considered suitable for functional foods or medicinal products.

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Correspondence to Toru Takahashi.

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Takahashi, T., Okiura, A. & Kohno, M. Phenylpropanoid composition in fig (Ficus carica L.) leaves. J Nat Med 71, 770–775 (2017).

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  • Fig leaf
  • Polyphenol
  • Caffeoylmalic acid
  • Furanocoumarin
  • Psoralen
  • Psoralic acid glucoside